The Series on Discipline continues. Today I reflect on the second area of discipline
While our relationship with God and with others should be our highest priorities as far as focus, problems arise if we consistently neglect our own physical needs. It is important to make time and effort to care for the temple that God has given to us in order to house our spirit (i.e. our bodies).
While it is true that the physical appearance of someone should not be the basis judging what is inside a man, very often human beings will judge you by the way you package yourself.God’s temple has got to be nicely packaged. I mean it is important to look good so that the physical impression can easily be used to make an impression about ourselves. So take your time to dress the temple of the lord and to package it in a way that if it were a product you wanted to buy, then the packaging will be enough to tell you about what lies within.
It is important that we keep adequately groomed/clean, and maintain sufficient amounts of rest and recuperation. Regular showers, regular sleeping hours, and regular changing/washing of clothes may seem simple and basic at a glance, and yet they can easily be neglected, if one is not diligent. Don’t let this happen to you!
We must also take into consideration our physical well being.One, and perhaps the most important area in this regard is in Nutrition,or simply put what we eat.While it is good to be “poor in spirit” with regard to what we eat, it is also important to exercise wisdom and self-discipline as far as what we choose to eat, while we have the luxury of choice. Simply going for what is easiest, or for what most greatly appeals to our “flesh”, may bring us temporary pleasures in the short-term, but is sure to undermine our Christian service in the long-term, if left unchecked. Self-discipline in the area of nutrition is one of the easiest ways to ensure our long-term usability for the kingdom.
The other area (where I have personally failed miserably) is the area of physical exercises. While Paul writes in 1Timothy 4:8 that that bodily exercise profits little, while godliness is profitable for all things, he does not in any way underestimate the profitability of bodily exercises. He just wants us to see how bodily exercise would complement our spiritual exercises so make sometime for bodily exercise.
Obviously, apart from contributing to one’s aesthetic endowment, an exercise like push-ups serves a practical use in the form of making pushing and pulling easier. But other popular forms of exercise include swimming, biking, and hiking. The activity chosen is not so important, while progress and improvement within that activity is. We are usually most inspired when we are doing what we enjoy, so don’t forget to take that into consideration when choosing which physical activity you would like to make your primary focus. Just remember to chart your progress, so that you can see where you are improving (or regressing). Also, particularly relevant for older people is the need to (generally) accept the reality that looking after your health may also involve being realistic about how much to expect, and learning to accept that you will be getting, in some ways, worse and worse each day. But you can still slow down the deterioration through sensible exercise.
To sum up, stay fit with regular exercise, keeping in mind that we do most enthusiastically and effectively what we enjoy. The more measurable the form of exercise, the better, as far as charting progress goes. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of consistency. Keep in mind the long-term while contemplating short-term nutritional choices, and stay faithful with regard to cleanliness and hygiene. Don’t be afraid to regularly ask yourself such questions as: How much exercise did I get last week? How does that compare with the previous week (i.e. have I made any progress)? Have I been mainly motivated by my “carnal desires” in choosing what to eat, or have I made such choices on the basis of what will most effectively contribute to my long-term physical health? Have I been maintaining regular sleeping hours, and/or taking care to stay properly cleaned/groomed? Such questions should help to inspire us to be more disciplined with regard to our physical health, which should carry over into every other area of our lives. Splendid!
Lets Honour God’s Temple…Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
This series continues Tomorrow